Three trends in education are likely to shape the needs of the schools of 1980 or 1990: the number of students in the formal educational system will expand greatly, the range of subjects offered by schools will be sharply increased, and individualized instruction will become common, if not universal. Such changes will pose at least two major difficulties: faculty and administrators will find it increasingly difficult to monitor adequately student progress, and students will find it increasingly difficult to select a realistic and adequate program of study from the bewildering array of disciplines and specialties available. Two important uses for automated academic data banks, then, will be to maintain adequate student records for faculty and administrators and to provide students with information and guidance in selecting their studies. With the growing complexity of the educational process, it will not be sufficient simply to replace file cabinets and course catalogs with computers and remote terminals. Data files will have to be developed which are capable of actively guiding and aiding users and which monitor their own contents for completeness and accuracy.